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If you go out of your way this time of year to keep your bare hands from making contact with stair rails, door handles and elevator buttons, you are not alone.
These natural aversions are common during flu season which tends to peak in January/February, but can start as early as October and last as late as May.
Influenza, or flu for short, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by airborne viruses. These viruses are spread from person to person, causing mild to severe discomfort and sometimes even death.
The flu spreads when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks and droplets containing their germs land in your mouth or nose. Eww. You can also get the flu by touching a surface or object upon which the flu germ has landed and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose. Ick.
That’s why getting an annual flu shot, practicing proper hand washing and keeping your unwashed hands away from your face are some of your best lines of defense against contracting the flu.
The best news is that flu shots are free and in abundant supply. And this year, you don’t have to go further than your nearest pharmacy to get yours. Flu shots are also available from family practices, walk-in clinics, long-term care facilities and through many large employers.
With that kind of accessibility, what are you waiting for? Just keep your hands in your pockets and beware of germ-infested surfaces along the way.
Looking to share some great tips for avoiding the flu? Here are a couple of excellent websites:
Flu Season 2013-14